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ELLA Express

You have recently started a business and it is beginning to gain traction. Now learn the foundational business knowledge you need to make smart and savvy decisions for growth. Read on to find out how ELLA Express can provide you with the business acumen and tools you need to succeed.

Learn the fundamentals to help you build a thriving business

ELLA Express is a 1-week intensive bootcamp-style program designed to help women-led product and service-based businesses build a solid foundation for growth.

Whether you have a professional services company, brick and mortar retail store, food business or other, the program aims to equip you with the essential tools, skills and knowledge you need to make smart decisions from the start.

What you'll receive as a program participant in ELLA Express:

Expert Feedback

Through the workshops and Office Hours, you will have the opportunity to receive expert advice about how to build your business for growth. 


ELLA gives you access to an inclusive community of women entrepreneurs who span across many backgrounds, industries, and specializations. Connect with your peers through a networking session to form invaluable partnerships and broaden your network for years to come.

Skills Training

Acquire the knowledge and skills you need to grow your business successfully.

Business Plan Writing: This workshop will teach you how to write a well-written business plan, using interactive tools and frameworks for support.

Value Proposition Design: This workshop is designed to help you align your brand value with your customers’ true needs.

Marketing and Sales Funnel: This workshop will help you get in a better position to close deals and market your product or service efficiently. Outline your sales and marketing funnel and go over specific tools to help you analyze metrics and gain actionable insight.

Website Design: This workshop will give you practical hacks to help you make your website work for you. No design or coding experience is required and the tools you will be learning about are free.

Business Finances: This workshop will give insight into how to manage your business’ finances, including forecasting, budgeting, and implementing useful accounting systems. Ensure your business is financially optimized for growth.

Pricing: This workshop will help you determine how to price your products or services. Achieve maximum profitability while ensuring value for your customers and strategic positioning in the marketplace.

Pitching: This workshop will explore the key elements of an effective pitch and pitch deck to help you secure new customers, partnerships, funding and more. Knowing how to tell the story of your business in an engaging way will attract the support you need. 

You will have the option of booking Office Hours to get expert feedback on: 

- Your pitch 
- Your business plan 
- Your intellectual property strategy, or 
- Value proposition design 

Final Showcase

Participants will compete for one of 5 spots to pitch in the Final Showcase and be eligible to win the Grand Prize.

You are eligible to apply for ELLA Express if:

  • You are a woman entrepreneur with at least 50% ownership of an incorporated business or a registered non-profit or social enterprise  
  • You have an annual revenue of at least $10,000 with paying customers (you can still apply if you don't meet the revenue criteria)  
  • Your business is located in Southern Ontario (between Ottawa and Windsor) 
  • You are open to change and looking to step out of your comfort zone 
  • You can commit fully to the requirements of a 1-week intensive accelerator program (approximately 4 hours per day Monday to Friday, plus time to complete deliverables)

Program Timeline

Applications Open

July 19, 2021

Applications Close

August 8, 2021

Candidates Notified

August 23, 2021

Launch & Orientation

September 13, 2021

Program Concludes

September 17, 2021

Applications are now closed for the 2021 program. If you would like to be notified about when applications open for the next cohort, please complete this form.

If your business is at a more advanced stage of growth, please see our ELLA Ascend or ELLA Altitude programs for more advanced support.

ELLA is for everyone

ELLA is committed to building a diverse program

Women of different racial or ethnic backgrounds

Indigenous Peoples

Women of diverse sexual orientation and gender identity

Differently-abled and/or neuro-diverse women

Immigrants and newcomers

Underrepresented age groups in the entrepreneurial ecosystem

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